Sridhar Chillal, an octogenarian from Pune, finally did an ordinary chore that he has not done in the last 66 years: cut his fingernails which are the longest in the world.
Chillal, 82, was flown in from India by the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum in Times Square for a special event during which his fingernails were cut.
Ripley’s will store his nails
The fingernails have been acquired by Ripley’s, which will display them at the museum here. His cut fingernails are laid flat in a memorial case and span a length of over 31 feet, the height of a three-story building, according to a statement by Ripley’s.
Why Chillal started growing his nails
Chillal had not cut his nails on his left hand since 1952. He had decided to grow his nails when he was scolded by his school teacher as a result of accidentally breaking the teacher’s long nail. The teacher said that Chillal would never understand the importance of what he had done because Chillal had never committed to anything.
“I took it as a challenge,” said Chillal, and there was no looking back.
He only grew the nails on his left hand. His right hand’s nails are trimmed. Due to years of growing his nails and the weight of the nails, his hand is permanently handicapped. Chillal cannot open his hand from a closed position or flex his fingers.
Ripley’s said it was privileged to display the “unique and one-of-a-kind” exhibit. “Chillal dedicated his life to something truly remarkable and Ripley’s is the perfect home to honour his legacy. While he may have cut his fingernails, his nails will be forever memorialised inside Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square,” Ripley’s Believe It or Not! PR Manager Suzanne Smagala-Potts said.
Living with the nails
Chillal’s unusual choice didn’t stop him from leading a normal life with his wife, two children and grandchildren. However, as he aged, his long nails were proving more challenging to maintain an ordinary lifestyle. He found it difficult to sleep, and even a gust of wind was cause for alarm.